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Home > Issues > I Am Spartacus! Standing Up to Homeland Insecurity

I Am Spartacus!
Standing Up to Homeland Insecurity
by Daniel Newby, April 29, 2009

Will Spartacus stand alone? Click on picture to enlarge.

"We all need to recognize that our liberties to think and freely express ourselves are in jeopardy. When it comes to a free society, we either stand together or hang separately."

Summary: In the movie Spartacus, Greek freedom fighters were confronted by the Roman commander, who demanded that their leader, Spartacus, identify himself for punishment. As Spartacus began to rise to his feet, many other men, unwilling to see him stand alone against their oppressors, leapt to their feet and proudly declared: "I am Spartacus!"

The federal Department of Homeland Security's recent report on "rightwing extremism" attacks every American by unjustly targeting and tainting some Americans.  This article aims to make that report as meaningless as your local phone directory.


Who Are These "Rightwing Extremists"?

What Evidence Does the Government Offer?

Bogus Partial Apologies

    Report Was Premeditated

    Insufficient Scope of Apology

    Report Indicative of Pervasive Paranoia

Who Cares?

Conclusion: "I Am Spartacus!"



Who Are These "Rightwing Extremists"?

On April 7, 2009, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a report: "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment."
Technical Note: This report is in .pdf format.  Click here to download a free .pdf reader by Adobe. Older Adobe Readers may have problems opening this file.

This report targets so-called "rightwing extremists," makes numerous hypothetical conjectures about them, their beliefs, and their potential actions, and threatens traditional American values of justice.

The footnote on page two of this DHS report claims the following:

"Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."

Breaking this down, the report targets any person who:

(1) Hates someone else, or

(2) Harbors anti-governmental thoughts, including favoring state and local power over federal power.

The last sentence in this footnote actually introduces the distinct, third target: Anyone who participates in focused efforts on specific political issues, to potentially include "opposition to abortion or immigration".

As an unfortunate meter of the intelligence possessed by U.S. intelligence, groups focused against abortion-on-demand or rampant illegal immigration typically lobby for increased federal involvement. Their specific advocacy implies a measure of increased federal power and authority; not less. Therefore, a "rightwing extremist" could be someone who wants a bigger federal government, or a smaller federal government, depending upon the issue.

Introduced here is the childish, paranoid notion that single-issue advocacy creates a larger breeding ground for so-called extremism. Are organizations dedicated to two or three issues more benign?

Veteran's groups are spitting mad at the report's section entitled, "Disgruntled Military Veterans," as well as the following language:

"The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks." (page 2)

The DHS report provides other target examples, including,

"…antigovernment conspiracy theories and 'end times' prophecies [that] could motivate extremist individuals to stockpile food, ammunition, and weapons." (page 4)

So, stocking food and arms is now a threat to liberty, and evidence of one’s so-called extremism? Does it really matter whether a person has two weeks, or two years, supply in his pantry? Do we fear baking soda and vinegar bombs? With regard to weapons, a person has only two hands (and really can only be accurate with one weapon). Does it matter whether he has two guns or twenty, 100 rounds or 10,000? This government thinks so.

Even the poor, and potential poor, are not immune from Big Brother’s trepidation.

"According to a 2007 study from the German Institute for Economic Research, there appears to be a strong association between a parent’s unemployment status and the formation of rightwing extremist beliefs in their children—specifically xenophobia and antidemocratic ideals." (page 4)
Note of Interest: The German government has outlawed many forms of free thought and free speech, and has prosecuted home school parents, particularly those who depart from the state-dictated education curriculum.

The irony is thick. Tomorrow’s poor are to be watched extra-closely by the government that arguably contributed to their poverty through grossly irresponsible fiscal behavior.


What Evidence Does the Government Offer?

One would think this report would include some strong evidence to back up these sweeping new claims. Yet, in the "Key Findings" of this report, it states:

"The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing* terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues."

In other words, the DHS admits their findings are ultimately based upon hypothetical conjecture. The authors frequently couch their ignorance with terms such as "possible," "potential," "could," "appears to be," and "capable of."

Throughout the report, vague examples, alleged examples, and a few specific examples, are cited to underscore sweeping, broad-based claims. With as much clout and basis, they could theorize that space aliens appear capable of landing in Washington D.C. at any moment and could demonstrate hostile intentions. Wait… perhaps they already have?


Bogus Partial Apologies

On April 24, 2009, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, met behind closed doors with the American Legion, and supposedly groveled an apology to veterans for targeting them in the report. Read the American Legion's official article.

American Legion National Commander David Rehbein quickly informed the nation, via FOX News,

"...that it is time to move forward. 'In the mind of the American Legion, I think her apology was sufficient.'"
Source: "Napolitano apologizes to veterans over 'extremist' flap," Eric Marrapodi, FOX News, April 24, 2009.

Oh really? When did Rehbein and the American Legion receive the golden baton to speak for all the people and groups grossly offended by Napolitano and the federal government? Contrary to Rehbein's bold assertions, it is not time to forgive and forget.


Report Was Premeditated

Previously, on April 16, Napolitano had been interviewed by FOX News. According to the article:

"Napolitano said she was briefed on the report, including the warning about returning veterans, before it was released."
Source: "Janet Napolitano Admits ‘An Apology Is Owed’", Bill Sammon, FOX News, April 16, 2009.

Word of this DHS report leaked out before it was published, causing loud objections by many citizens and groups. Despite this, the DHS printed, and initially backed, the report. Only after their hands had been slapped by public outrage, did Napolitano backpedal.


Insufficient Scope of Apology

Again, according to FOX News:

"'Let me be very clear,' Napolitano told FOX News. 'If there’s one part of that report I would re-write — in the wordsmithing, Washingtonese that goes on after the fact — it would be that footnote.'"

"'I'm not running away from it,' she added."
Source: "Janet Napolitano Admits ‘An Apology Is Owed’", Bill Sammon, FOX News, April 16, 2009.

The footnote she refers to is the sweeping definition of "right-wing extremists" on page 2 of the DHS report, and discussed earlier in this article. Unfortunately, her "wordsmithing" would not have addressed, or corrected, the rest of this heinous report, or the other individuals unjustly targeted.

Napolitano has simply feigned apology to the loudest complainers: military veterans.  She remains unapologetic toward the rest of the people who take offense.


Report Indicative of Pervasive Paranoia

In Napolitano's own press release, issued after her meeting with the American Legion, she stated:

"I pledge that the department has fixed the internal process that allowed this document to be released before it was ready."

Get real.  This report didn't originate in vacuum, and was not the result of a slip up by half-witted final proof editors. It was published by the DHS's Office of Intelligence and Analysis, and, according to the report itself, was,

"Prepared by the Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division. Coordinated with the FBI." (page 1)

At the very least, this report is evidence of a degenerate mind set that has infected these federal agencies to the point of saturation. Napolitano has offered no substantive course of action to correct the mind set in these agencies.


Who Cares?

Nations rarely wake up one day and decide to turn in all their freedoms in favor of a totalitarian police state. They must first be divided into distinct groups and classes. Then sufficient fear and conflict must be generated so that they will take actions they normally would not consider seriously.

Those in the minority must be attacked and denigrated to the point of being less than human — what the German National Socialist (Nazi) regime termed  "Untermenschen," or sub-humans. The Nazi Party compiled lists of "undesirable" people, and harassed and intimidated them.

This report should be alarming because it underlies the growing trend to presume that people are guilty of actions they have not yet taken — based solely upon their beliefs and backgrounds.

If this attitude is allowed to go unchecked, it will have a chilling effect on all forms of free thought and expression. Today, the "right-wingers" are targeted. Eventually it will be any person who does not fully embrace every government dictate or prevailing wind of heavy-handed paranoia.


Conclusion: "I Am Spartacus!"

I propose that we quickly join ranks, and stand beside those who have been unjustly targeted.

Click here for a draft letter requesting to be added to the DHS's list of undesirables. (If, for some reason, it asks for a user name and password, just hit enter).  Click here if you want it in .pdf format as well.

The letter is merely a template. It is your letter, not mine. Consider writing to your local, state, and federal politicians and bureaucrats. See the website (the "My Elected Officials box"), where you can punch in your zip code and find your federal, state, and local officials.

Remember to include Napolitano. Here is her contact information:

Secretary Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528
Comment Line: 202-282-8495
Click here to find your local DHS point person.

Of course, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) "coordinated" on the report:

Director Robert Mueller
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
Main Phone: (202) 324-3000
Click here to find your local office.

And let's not forget their boss:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Fax: 202-456-2461
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414

By standing together, we will make this DHS report as meaningless as our local phone directory. These officials will learn that we cannot be picked apart through fear-mongering and intimidation.

Your personal political, religious, or cultural persuasion are irrelevant, and it matters not whether you agree with everything written here (either in this article or on this entire website), or only some of it. We all need to recognize that our liberties to think and freely express ourselves are in jeopardy. When it comes to a free society, we either stand together or hang separately.




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